Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Making no attempt to be chronological with regards to tales of India, we might as well start here.
The Lonely Planet Guide to India (Which like many LP guides, is available for download as a .pdf on their website making it unclear why on earth anyone would purchase an actual hard copy of any Lonely Planet book - you can download and print only those chapters relevant to the parts of a country you will actually visit, or you can put all the searchable .pdfs you want on your laptop or smartphone or something else you might bring with you. Great Stagnation, indeed!) says that many of the world's most famous sites are so overhyped, and so frequently seen in photographs, that they may fall a bit flat in person. The LP guide goes on to say the Taj Majal is without a doubt not one of those sites - one can't fail to be awed.
We failed to be awed. That may be too cruel: It was lovely, it was majestic, it was everything promised. But perhaps the very reading-ahead of the Lonely Planet promise that the Taj would not fail to awe set up an impossible standard, and in the end, a certainty that it would fail to awe. We should be so lucky to test this theory with all the world's over-photographed monuments.